Put the Lean Six Sigma Toolbox away – start with your Mind.

MUCH has been written about Lean Six Sigma.  Practical information on how to implement LSS, especially in a small business is hard to come by. Tapping into the expertise of those who have walked this path is a great way to discover the secrets and pitfalls, mistakes to avoid when considering LSS for your business/organization.

Start by asking yourself what the current readiness and knowledge levels regarding LSS would be? Close to most of us (almost 100%) have heard about Lean Six Sigma at some point in time, we are just not sure even how much or little we really know until you start getting into it!

For some lean six sigma thinking comes naturally, for others a little more rigor and discipline is required to effect and impact business processes and ensuing success.

Are you doing something currently (like LSS) to cut down on waste, scrap or unnecessary costs? Typically less than 50% of companies will still be in the running here.

Do you consider your Lean Six Sigma processes a roaring success? Less than 5-10% will respond with affirmation and agreement here! 

There is always room for improvement in any business. LSS provides us with the tools and means, channels and connections to plan, execute and sustain these changes to benefit our profit and bottom line.

Always remember that…

You can not do everything yourself, or quickly necessarily. You need the combined efforts, buy-in, support and infrastructure to get things done and it may take longer than expected initially or overall, BUT STICK WITH IT!

LSS is an on-going journey and NOT a ‘quick-fix’ for business woes! Although some of the tools and applications will start providing you with immediate reward and benefit that is measurably making a difference.

It is not successful as a project here and there or uncoordinated strategy, shooting from the hip, when we feel like it type of approach.

Dedicated time and resources, focused and targeted effort will benefit your LSS initiative tremendously. SHIFT YOUR FOCUS MORE LONG-TERM and step out of the day-to-day fire-fighting and reduced focus we so typically have in our organizations, dealing with one problem at a time, as they come up and not following a very effective strategy overall or at all.

LSS is about more than tools, counterintuitive thinking and application to manufacturing and transactional processes! It is about the people involved in, touched by, working with and through these processes and outcomes, to IMPROVE and SUSTAIN business success and growth.

Put the toolbox down – until you’ve thought about which tool you actually need.


Paul Swift

Beyondlean Ltd.